The Lords gentle, precise, respectful manner in asking for the husband of the Samaritan woman is instructive. He aimed for an immediate response. His patient dealings with the rich, young ruler aimed at an eventual response. The ruler was not prepared to acknowledge his need, so the Lord Jesus planted seeds of truth intended to produce conviction. Since the ruler did not love his neighbor as himself, he needed to face his guilt in breaking Gods law. The listeners need and degree of understanding determined the approach. Peter didnt decry idolatry in Jerusalem; Paul didnt decry the guilt of crucifying the Messiah in Athens.
Preaching about sin was and is essential. Such truth confronts human thought, but its presentation need not be confrontational or offensive. Some who listened to apostolic preaching were uncomfortable and offended (Acts 2:37; 4:1-3; 7:54). The content of the message, not the manner of its presentation, was the reason. Preaching in the power of the Spirit of Christ will convict. It will be sensitive to the needs of the listeners, handling confrontational truths in the manner most likely to be effective. Preaching the gospel is a service. Servants honor those whom they serve (Romans 12:10, 11; Philippians 2:3).